Image Words, How to Make Them Using Animated GIFs

Summary of this image words page

Before reading this page, watch this 2 minute video to get an understanding of what image words are all about.

Introduction to image words

This page tells you how to make images show up in letters. Then you can create image words like the one in this animated GIF. You will need 2 free programs called GIMP and Keynote.

image words

This page will tell you how to make image words using a static photo. Then it will show you have make image words over top of moving pictures.


Start creating image words with GIMP

Make a Google search something like this: how to get a free copy of gimp for mac . Download and setup GIMP.

Now we will show you how to make an image word mask like the one in the animated GIF above.

  • The size of the videos we make is 1920 x 1080 pixels. So, go to File > New.
  • If the size given is 1920 x 1080 px or something in that proportion, click OK.
  • Click the text tool and make sure it is set at a font you like.
  • Type in the title such as How to Make  Image Words.
  • Select all of the letters and manipulate the Size section so that the title fills most of the page.

image words

    • image wordsRight-click in the right-hand column, and click Merge Down.
    • Right-click again in the same column and select New Layer.
    • Create a Transparent Layer.
    • Merge Down.
    • Click on the Fuzzy Select Tool.

image words

  • Click on a letter and then press Delete. You will notice that the area where the coloured letter was is now transparent.
  • Do that with every letter.
  • Click File > Export As > OK > OK.
  • Before clicking OK, give it a descriptive name such as How to Make Image Words Mask.

The right size of animated GIFs

  • Go to the instructional web page on how to make animated GIFs.
  • In the ScreenFlow section below, you will record one of the animated GIFs from that page.
  • Cmd/shift/4 to make a still copy of that GIF.image words
  • Move the still copy into the upper left-hand corner of a Keynote page to measure it in pixels.
  • Suppose it is 155 x 130 pixels.
  • However, suppose you want to get 3 copies of the GIF in a row. Then you decide the GIF should be 350 pixels wide.
  • image wordsHow high should it be? Remember your algebra. Your new width should be 350 px and you old width was 155 px.
  • So make an equation with new as the numerator and the old being the denominator. The proportions of the width and height will be the same.
  • You must make 2 fractions  with the new being over the old. The new height is h. So, you multiply each side of the equation by 130.
  • You get out your calculator and find out that the new height will be 294 px.

Getting animated GIFs with ScreenFlow

        • Open ScreenFlow
        • Record that part of the page that has the girl throwing the orange
        • image wordsimage words
      • In ScreenFlow click your Canvas Size icon. In this example here it will be 350 x 294 px.

    • In the upper right-hand corner click Video and then move the Scale button so that the animated GIF fits exactly into the box on your screen.
    • Using the instructions on the animated GIF page, change the animation into an animated GIF.

Using Keynote

Download and set up a free copy of Keynote. You will use Keynote mainly to make online videos. Online videos measure 1920 x 1080 pixels. Therefore the size of your Keynote page will be in the same proportion as those 2 numbers.

For Keynote I usually use numbers that are exactly one half of the online videos. So, I move the corners of my Keynote screen like the examples here. The height is 540 px and the width is 960 px.

    • Insert an animated GIF into the upper left-hand corner of the Keynote screen.
    • One third of 960 is 320. So drag a corner of the GIF to make it 320 px wide.
    • Cmd C to copy the GIF into your clipboard. Cmd V to paste it beside the first one.
    • In the animation you see here, note how the digit 4 shows up as you are moving the fourth copy into position. That indicates the order in which the videos start as you are clicking the Play button.

image words

  • Copy the mask onto the Keynote screen.
  • Size it so that it is the same height as the 2 images.
  • Slide it left so that most but not all of it covers the images.
  • Action > Add > Effects > Move.
  • Move the right end point of the red line to the left like you see in the animation above.
  • Drag the right end point so that  the mask is almost but not totally beyond the images.
  • Drag the left end point so that the mask totally covers the images.
  • Start recording the screen with ScreenFlow.
  • In Keynote, click Play and then move the cursor over to the right so that it does not show up in the video.
  • Save your ScreenFlow video with a descriptive name.